A terminal fit for a Hyperloop?
September 12, 2013
If Elon Musk's Hyperloop is to come to fruition, it's going to need passenger terminals. But where Musk's design proposes terminals with turntables to rotate transport capsules, industrial designer Serge Roux has come up with an alternative, and one which lives up to the Hyperloop brand. Roux's idea is much like a gondola cable car system, involving an endless loop (you see) to and from which passengers embark and disembark at either end. Roux maintains that this idea saves time, space, and has fewer parts to go wrong.
Roux claims that his proposal will support the same passenger throughput while allowing individual passengers 20 percent more time to get on or off Hyperloop capsules. Perhaps more significantly, Roux claims that his idea requires half the space, and perhaps less, of Musk's. Overall, the size of the terminal would be a slightly smaller than the Grand Central terminal building, disregarding its platforms.
Though the transit time from Los Angeles to San Francisco is slated at 30 minutes, Roux claims that the total time for a journey will be 40, on average, due to the time required to compress and decompress airlocks as capsules enter and exit the Hyperloop's main tubes, as well as taxiing time between the decompression chambers and platforms. However, Roux argues that this overall time is similar to or less than the total required in a so-called multiplexed station with a rotating turntable as proposed by Musk.
Though speculative, Roux has clearly thought looked in detail at Musk's Hyperloop proposal, and considered the detailed implications of his own design. For instance, he realises that the curvature of his building will create a gap between the capsules and arrival platforms of up to 1.3 m (4.3 ft), and so a retractable gangways will be required.
More details of the proposal can be seen on Roux's website.